A survey of 1,496 parents and carers was carried out between August and October 2008 to quantify the reach (i.e. awareness and usage) of Sure Start Children’s Centres among the target population (that is, parents and carers of children aged under five years and expectant parents). The survey was limited to children’s centres which were designated by March 2006 and so had been established for several years.
Overall the findings from the survey are positive. The reach of these centres was good with 78% of parents and carers aware of their local centre and 45% having used or attended their centre. Childcare and nursery education were the most heavily used services at the centres, while use of health services, and family and parenting services were less widespread. Those who have used or attended their local centre were very happy with the services they had used.